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Geranium robertianum

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Geranium robertianum, commonly known as herb-Robert,<ref name=BSBI07>Template:Citation</ref> red robin, death come quickly, storksbill, fox geranium, stinking Bob, squinter-pip (Shropshire), crow's foot, or (in North America) Roberts geranium, is a common species of cranesbill native to Europe and parts of Asia, North America, and North Africa.<ref>BONAP’s Taxonomic Data Center (TDC) North American Vascular Flora</ref>

Description

The typical leaf structure

It grows as a procumbent to erect annual or biennial plant, up to fifty centimetres high, producing small, pink, five-petalled flowers (8–14 mm in diameter)<ref name=Stace>Template:Citation</ref> from April until the autumn. The leaves are deeply dissected, ternate to palmate,<ref name=Stace/><ref name=Blamey>Template:Citation</ref> and the stems often reddish; the leaves also turn red at the end of the flowering season.

Distribution

Its main area of distribution is Europe from the north Mediterranean coast to the Baltic and from the British Isles in the west to the Caucasus in the east, and eastern North America.<ref name=DVF>Template:Citation</ref> Geranium robertianum is common throughout Great Britain and Ireland in woodland, hedgerows, scree and maritime shingle.<ref name=Stace/> It grows at altitudes from sea level to Template:Convert in Teesdale, England and above Template:Convert in parts of mainland Europe on calcareous alpine screes.<ref name=Tofts>Template:Citation</ref>

Uses

In traditional herbalism, herb Robert was used as a remedy for toothache and nosebleeds<ref>Template:Citation</ref> and as a vulnerary (used for or useful in healing wounds).<ref name=Milliken>Template:Citation</ref> The name has been explained as a reference to abbot and herbalist Robert of Molesme. Freshly picked leaves have an odor resembling burning tires when crushed, and if they are rubbed on the body the smell is said to repel mosquitoes.<ref name=Milliken/> The active ingredients are tannins, a bitter compound called geraniin, and essential oils. It was carried to attract good luck, and due to its analogical association with storks, to enhance fertility.Template:Citation needed

References

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Bibliography

File:Geranium robertianum buds.jpg
Geranium robertianum flower buds
Geranium robertianum

External links

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